On September 11, 2010, Boréalis opened its doors to the public for the first time. Ten years later, the institution has gained credibility and popularity and continues its mission of honoring the workers who have worked for the CIP and who have dedicated their lives to the paper industry.
“It’s a very emotional moment for me. We were really naive, ten years ago, when we launched into this project. I remember Michel Jutras [ancien directeur des Arts et de la culture à la Ville de Trois-Rivières, NDLR] who said: “You’re only going to do one museum in your life.” Do it well. ” Our naivety has served us well, ”emphasizes, moved, Valérie Bourgeois, who was director of Boréalis for a long time before becoming, a few months ago, Deputy Director General of Culture Trois-Rivières.
This naivety served the team well in the end. “There is a quote that guided me at the time: They didn’t know it was impossible so they did. I think that if we had been told in advance all the work that it represented, the demands, the lengths and the sacrifices that it took, we might not have embarked on the project with so much enthusiasm. At the same time, I really believed in this project. If the Pulp and Paper Interpretation Center had remained in the port park as at the time, I don’t think that we would have succeeded in achieving what we did with Boréalis, ”she continues.
Since the opening of 2010, more than 363,000 visitors have passed through the door of the Boréalis museum, an average of 40,000 visitors per year. Moreover, nearly 50% of the clientele comes from international markets.
Ms. Bourgeois believes that the success of the Boréalis model rests on its modern side in the approach which is based on testimonials and various activities, but also very anchored in the past and rigorous in the quality of the content.
Several activities have also become classics over the years, think of the tasting conference Wine cellar, presented for the first time in 2012, or at jazz evenings on the Terrasse aux Confluents, for example.
The last ten years have also been marked by exhibitions Generations – when paper is a family affair relating to the families of the paper industry such as the Krugers, Lemaires and Price, Paper women about the daily lives of women in the paper industry, MP10 – A machine in transformation on the transformation of the Kruger machine no.10, Roots and Identity and Travel to the end of the world.
The urban route First shift was also added to the museum offer in 2015, while an interactive game, Stationery mission, which puts participants in the shoes of a factory manager, was launched in 2018. Boréalis also won the Prix Excellence from the Société des musées québécois for this interactive game.
On the occasion of this 10e year, a special and evolving program, according to health measures, was unveiled.
“We asked ourselves whether we were going forward with activities despite COVID-19 and health measures. We decided to do so and to transform this event into an opportunity for Boréalis, specifies Ms. Bourgeois. We did a retrospective of what worked well and we transformed it to try to do something else in the programming. ”
The new temporary exhibition entitled Drive and reverse – restore balance will focus on the legacy of the log drive, but also on the vast deblocking operation underway in La Mauricie National Park to give back its place to nature. The exhibit will be open to visitors starting this fall.
The activity To drink! And a story will take place on September 12. Participants will discover the facets of the “life” of a log from the forest to the factory and will take part in a tasting of forest spirits.
The activity Biking in Bobo, which was born this summer, will return on September 6 and October 4 in order to set off by bike in the footsteps of the paper mills and the great builders of the 20e century.
Other surprises will await visitors in the coming months. The museum team is working in particular on the 3D modeling of the entire former CIP paper factory. An escape game project would also be on the cards.